How Disruptive Is Installing Central Heating?

If you’re considering installing a new central heating system in your home, you’re bound to have a lot of questions – after all, it’s not a simple task! One of the most common worries expressed by homeowners is the disruption that installing central heating can cause. We’ve answered all of your queries below.

Is Installing Central Heating Disruptive?

Installing a new central heating system will be disruptive but as long as you are informed and prepared, you will be able to navigate the installation process with minimal disruption.

Installing central heating involves installing a boiler, radiators across the house and pipes that connect the boiler to the radiators. In this process, floors and walls might need to be opened up to carry out installations underneath.

The process will require turning off the heating, water and gas, which can cause disruption if you are not prepared for it. Certain rooms of your house could also be inaccessible for some time due to the construction work.

How to Minimise Disruption

The key to minimising disruption is communicating with the professionals who will be installing the new central heating system and planning in advance. Get the installation plan in advance to know which room will take how long and ascertain whether you need to move out during the installation process.

Plan for the fact that heating will not be available for a few days at least and ensure alternative heating systems such as a portable electric heater.

The best option would be to install the new central heating system during the summer months so that heating is not an issue. The installation process will also lead to a disruption of water. Hence, ensure alternative sources of water such as bottled water are prepared..

Similarly, also plan for the disruption in gas. Prepare an electric stove for cooking needs or plan to order food.

And don’t forget to remove or cover carpeting to ensure that it is not damaged and move all your valuable objects out of the way to avoid any damage during the installation process.

Best Time to Install Central Heating

The best time to install a new central heating system is during summer. The installation process will lead to a disruption in your central heating for anywhere between one day to a week, depending on the size of your house.

Hence, it is best to plan and have the central heating installed during the warm months so that you don’t need to arrange for alternative heating sources.

How Long Does It Take to Install Central Heating?

Installing a new central heating system can take between one or two days to a week. The amount of time it takes will depend on the company you hire and how many people work together.

Besides this, it will also depend on the heating system you are having installed and the area and layout of your property.

Is a New Central Heating Worth the Disruption?

Yes, a new central heating is definitely worth the disruption. Old heating systems which use gas boilers take up a lot of unnecessary energy and are not that efficient. Modern boilers will help you save more than £300 a year on energy costs.

A new central heating system with modern appliances will be more reliable, safer, cause fewer emissions and produce less noise. You will save on maintenance and repair costs as well.

You can also replace your central heating with a combined or completely renewable energy system which will help you make significant savings on energy costs.

Is Gas Central Heating Being Phased Out?

Gas central heating is being phased out as the UK is aiming to reduce emissions entirely by 2050. According to the Future Homes Standard regulations introduced by Boris Johnson, building regulations will ensure low carbon heating systems by 2025, which means that gas central heating in new houses will likely stop from 2025.

You will not be penalised if you already have a gas central heating system in your home from before but it would be best to switch to other options that are more eco-friendly and more economical for your household.

What Is the Best Alternative to Gas Central Heating?

The best alternatives to gas central heating are biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps, solar thermal panels, solar electric heating systems and infrared heating panels.

Biomass Boilers

Biomass boilers are a sustainable heating option that uses a renewable form of energy known as biomass or organic matter.

While boilers use fossil fuels to generate heat, biomass boilers usually use wood that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Wood pellets or logs that would otherwise have been thrown into landfills are used for heating. This creates a much lesser carbon footprint than burning fossil fuels and reduces strain on landfills.

Replacing your boiler with a biomass boiler can help you save up to £390 a year. You might also be eligible for financial incentives for installing the biomass boiler under the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme provided by the government.

Various other energy-efficient heating systems are also eligible for financial incentives under this scheme.

This will help you install a new central heating system with little to no cost as you will make up for the amount you invest in the heating over the next few years.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps are an energy-efficient heating source that generates heat from compressed air and then directs it to heat water.

Air source heat pumps are a great heating option for climates that do not have extreme fluctuations in temperatures.

They are also minimally disruptive as they just require an external unit like an air conditioner which can be connected to existing ducts.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps are an energy-efficient heating source that generates heat from the ground and uses it to heat water that is then circulated across the house.

They are more suited to extreme climates since the ground is a more constant heat source than air and can provide heating throughout the year.

They are also comparatively more expensive and difficult to install as the pump is installed underground. The heat gathered from below the ground is then circulated through the water. However, they provide higher savings and more efficient heating.

Solar Thermal Panels

Solar thermal panels are similar to solar panels but instead of converting solar energy to electricity, they convert it directly to heat.

Solar thermal panels can be used to heat water and your house in general. They are usually installed on the roof of the house.

They absorb the heat from the sunlight and use the energy to heat a liquid that can then be circulated throughout the house.

Solar thermal panels require very little maintenance and are long lasting. Having a solar thermal panel installed in your house will also make you eligible for incentives under the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

Having a solar thermal panel installed as your heating system might save up to 10% of your energy costs.

Infrared Heating Panels

Infrared heating panels are a heating system that uses infrared radiation to generate heat in an energy-efficient manner.

Infrared rays are electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 780 nanometres and 1 millimetre, which is longer than that of light visible to the human eye.

Infrared rays were discovered in 1800 by Sir William Herschel. Infrared heating panels can radiate heat directly to objects without passing through the air and are highly efficient.

The infrared rays reach objects around the heating panel and on coming into contact with an object, the molecules of the object start vibrating and heat up. The objects then continue to radiate heat.

Infrared heating panels are an energy-efficient and eco-friendly heating option which are easy to install and can reduce your energy consumption by up to 50%.

Solar Powered Electric Heating

Solar-powered electric heating systems use solar photovoltaic panels to convert energy from the sun’s rays into electricity.

If you already have electrical radiators installed in your house, you can still switch to a more energy-efficient system by changing to solar power.

The solar panel will be installed in your roof and generate direct current electricity which can be converted to alternating current electricity using an inverter to power any appliance in your home.

Besides the one-time cost of installation, you will significantly reduce energy costs throughout the year.

Hybrid Heating System

A hybrid heating system is a combined system that uses a traditional fuel-powered boiler with an air or ground source heating pump to help you save on energy costs while providing reliable heating throughout any climate.

Though all of these options have varying advantages and disadvantages, what is common to all of them is that they will significantly reduce energy consumption and hence costs.

They also produce low or no carbon emissions and will be affordable to install thanks to government schemes that promote energy-efficient heating systems.

Bottom Line

How disruptive is installing central heating system? I guess it really depends on your level of planning and organisation and the size of the job. But don’t let the thought of a minor disruption put you off. Installing a new central heating system will be both economical and more sustainable for yourself and the environment.

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Last Updated on November 7, 2021


Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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